Best Selling Books by Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell is the author of Scarpetta (2009), Trace (2012), Spin (2020), Postmortem (2021), Isle of Dogs (2002), Autopsy (2021) and other 75 books.

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Scarpetta

release date: Aug 25, 2009
Scarpetta
From America’s #1 bestselling crime writers comes an extraordinary #1 New York Times bestselling Kay Scarpetta novel. Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk—and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard. The injuries, he says, were sustained in the course of a murder . . . that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixed on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed and stalked by the actual killer? The one thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered—and more violent deaths will follow. Gradually, an inexplicable and horrifying truth emerges: Whoever is committing the crimes knows where his prey is at all times. Is it a person, a government? And what is the connection between the victims? In the days that follow, Scarpetta; her forensic psychologist husband, Benton Wesley; and her niece, Lucy, who has recently formed her own forensic computer investigation firm in New York, will undertake a harrowing chase through cyberspace and the all-too-real streets of the city—an odyssey that will take them at once to places they never knew, and much, much too close to home. Throughout, Cornwell delivers shocking twists and turns, and the kind of cutting-edge technology that only she can provide. Once again, she proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthrall.

Trace

release date: Jul 03, 2012
Trace
Dr. Kay Scarpetta, now freelancing from south Florida, returns to the city that turned its back on her five years ago. Richmond, Virginia’s recently appointed chief medical examiner claims that he needs Scarpetta’s help to solve a perplexing crime. When she arrives, however, Scarpetta finds that nothing is as she expected: her former lab is in the final stages of demolition; the inept chief isn’t the one who requested her after all; her old assistant chief has developed personal problems that he won’t reveal; and a glamorous FBI agent, whom Scarpetta dislikes instantly, meddles with the case. Deprived of assistance from colleagues Benton and Lucy, who are embroiled in what first appears to be an unrelated attempted rape by a stalker, Scarpetta is faced with investigating the death of a fourteen-year-old girl, working with the smallest pieces of evidence—traces that only the most thorough hunters can identify. She must follow the twisting leads and track the strange details in order to make the dead speak—and to reveal the sad truth that may be more than even she can bear…

Spin

release date: Aug 25, 2020
Spin
Captain Calli Chase returns in a page-turning thriller from international bestselling author Patricia Cornwell.

Postmortem

release date: Mar 30, 2021
Postmortem
Now available in a tall Premium Edition, the novel that introduces one of suspense fiction's most compelling heroines--Dr. Kay Scarpetta--from a #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author. Reissue.

Isle of Dogs

release date: Oct 01, 2002
Isle of Dogs
Patricia Cornwell’s novels of big-city police have taken this classic genre to a new level. Now, with this #1 New York Times bestselling novel, she outdoes herself, with a wry tale of life and turmoil behind the blue wall. Chaos breaks loose when the governor of Virginia orders that speed traps be painted on all streets and highways, and warns that speeders will be caught by monitoring aircraft flying overhead. But the eccentric island of Tangier, fourteen miles off the coast of Virginia in Chesapeake Bay, responds by declaring war on its own state. Judy Hammer, newly installed as the superintendent of the Virginia State Police, and Andy Brazil, a state trooper and Hammer’s right hand and confidant, find themselves at their wits’ end as they try to protect the public from the politicians—and vice versa—in this pitch-perfect, darkly comic romp.

Autopsy

release date: Nov 30, 2021
Autopsy
New York Times Bestseller In this relaunch of the electrifying, landmark #1 bestselling thriller series, chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta hunts those responsible for two wildly divergent and chilling murders. Forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta has come almost full circle, returning to Virginia, the state where she launched her storied career, as the chief medical examiner. Finding herself the new girl in town once again after being away for many years, she’s inherited both an overbearing secretary and a legacy of neglect and potential corruption. She and her husband, Benton Wesley, now a forensic psychologist with the U.S. Secret Service, have relocated to Old Town Alexandria, where she’s headquartered five miles from the Pentagon in a post-pandemic world that’s been torn apart by civil and political unrest. After just weeks on the job, she’s called to a scene by railroad tracks—a woman’s body has been shockingly displayed, her throat cut down to the spine—and as Scarpetta begins to follow the trail, it leads unnervingly close to her own historic neighborhood. At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top secret laboratory in outer space, endangering at least two scientists aboard. Appointed to the highly classified Doomsday Commission that specializes in sensitive national security cases, Scarpetta is summoned to the White House and tasked with finding out exactly what happened. But even as she remotely works the first potential crime scene in space, an apparent serial killer strikes again very close to home. This latest novel in the groundbreaking Kay Scarpetta series captivates readers with the shocking twists, high-wire tension, and forensic detail that Patricia Cornwell is famous for, proving once again why she’s the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer.

Black Notice

release date: Dec 30, 2008
Black Notice
In this #1 New York Times bestseller Dr. Kay Scarpetta is on a deadly mission that will pull her in two opposite directions: toward protecting her career or toward the truth... Remains were all that was left of the stowaway. He arrived in Richmond’s Deep Water Terminal—the ghastly cargo of a ship from Belgium. The decomposed body gives Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta no clues to its identity—or the cause of death. But an odd tattoo soon leads her on an international search to Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon, France—and towards a confrontation with one of the most savage killers of her career...

The Body Farm

release date: Dec 28, 2004
The Body Farm
When an eleven-year-old girl is found murdered, Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, gets another chance at stopping one of the most heartless and horrifying serial killers of her career: the demented Temple Gault.

Blow Fly

release date: Jul 02, 2013
Blow Fly
A cold case turns red-hot when a death-row inmate renews his acquaintance with Dr. Kay Scarpetta in this “utterly chilling” (Entertainment Weekly) #1 New York Times bestseller. Settling into her new life as a private forensic consultant, Kay Scarpetta agrees to investigate a cold case in Louisiana—the baffling eight-year-old murder of a woman with a history of blackouts and violent outbursts. Then she receives news that chills her to the core: Jean-Baptiste Chandonne—the vicious and unrepentant Wolfman who pursued her to her very doorstep—has asked to see her. From his cell on death row, he demands an audience with the legendary Dr. Scarpetta. With her friends and family by her side, Scarpetta tries to guess what sort of endgame this madman has in mind—how, if at all, it’s related to the Louisiana case—and then confronts the shock of her life: a blow that will force her to question the loyalty and trust of all she holds dear...

Flesh and Blood

release date: Jun 14, 2016
Flesh and Blood
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is about to head to Miami for a vacation when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their home. Is this a kids’ game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Then she learns there’s been a homicide five minutes away. A high school teacher was shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. Yet no one heard or saw a thing. Soon more victims surface. The shots seem impossible to achieve, yet they are so perfect they cause death in an instant. There is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First it was New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast. There she comes face to face with shocking news that implicates her niece, Lucy-Scarpetta’s own flesh and blood.

Point of Origin

release date: Jun 24, 2008
Point of Origin
The clues to a series of remorseless killings go up in smoke—and only Kay Scarpetta can find them in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Patricia Cornwell. “Sears its way into the psyche…Ablaze with Cornwell’s finest, scariest writing.”—Atlanta Journal Constitution The devastating fire tore through the horse farm, destroying everything it touched. Picking through the wreckage, Dr. Kay Scarpetta uncovers human remains—the work of an audacious and wily killer who uses fire to mask his brutal murders. And when Scarpetta learns that her old nemesis, Carrie Grethen, has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is somehow involved, the investigation becomes personal. Tragedy strikes close to home. And Scarpetta must match Grethen’s every move with one of her own to douse the inferno of evil that threatens everyone around her... Includes an Introduction by the Author

Ruth, A Portrait

release date: Jan 05, 2011
Ruth, A Portrait
Ruth Bell Graham is known as the wife of evangelist Billy Graham. It was Ruth who influenced Billy, as his most trusted life-partner. In Ruth, a Portrait, we meet this fascinating and remarkable woman. Brimming with anecdotes, this is a breathtaking journey, with stops at many of this century's epoch-making events. The childhood years of the future Mrs. Billy Graham were spent light-years away--in the China of the 1920s and 1930s. The daughter of medical missionaries, she and her family were caught in a crucible of unspeakable hardship; in addition to pestilence and plague, there was the unstable political and military turmoil surrounding the Nationalist government, the Communists, and the Japanese invaders. These hazardous realities shaped Ruth Bell and her family, a family inured to difficulties, but buoyed up by their deep belief in God's abiding will. Virtually raised by the Grahams, the author is a repository of Ruth Bell Graham's stories and has seen firsthand the spirit of this courageous woman. Patricia Cornwell not only gives readers a full, rounded, and intimate portrait of Ruth Bell Graham, but also insight into the life of the Graham family and particularly Billy Graham.

Cruel and Unusual

release date: Jun 10, 1993
Cruel and Unusual
When the fingerprints of an executed killer are found at a new crime scene, Dr. Kay Scarpetta takes on her most terrifying case yet. By the author of All That Remains. 250,000 first printing. Lit Guild Main.

Cause of Death

release date: Sep 01, 1997
Cause of Death
Dr. Kay Scarpetta plunges into the murky depths of a ship graveyard to recover the very human remains of Ted Eddings, an investigative reporter. Together with her niece Lucy and police captain Pete Marino, Scarpetta will follow the scents of death and violence to the heart of sinister darkness. *San Francisco Chronicle

Dust

release date: Sep 02, 2014
Dust
With unparalleled high-tension suspense and the latest in forensic technology, Patricia Cornwell once again proves her exceptional ability to surprise—and to thrill—in this electrifying Kay Scarpetta novel. A body, oddly draped in an unusual cloth, has just been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT, and it’s suspected the identity is that of missing computer engineering grad student Gail Shipton, last seen the night before at a trendy Cambridge bar. It appears she’s been murdered, mere weeks before the trial in her $100 million lawsuit against her former financial manager, and Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta doubts it’s a coincidence. She also fears the case may have a connection with her computer genius niece, Lucy. In Dust, Scarpetta and her colleagues are up against a force far more sinister than a sexual predator who fits the criminal classification of a “spectacle killer.” The murder of Gail Shipton soon leads deep into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organized crime, and shocking corruption at the highest levels.

Body of Evidence

release date: Dec 01, 2020
Body of Evidence
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell’s suspense fiction classic, featuring gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta. A reclusive author, Beryl Madison finds no safe haven from months of menacing phone calls—or the tormented feeling that her every move is being watched. When the writer is found slain in her own home, Kay Scarpetta pieces together the intricate forensic evidence—while unwittingly edging closer to a killer waiting in the shadows.

Livid

release date: Oct 25, 2022
Livid
In this thrilling installment of the #1 bestselling series, chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds herself a reluctant star witness in a sensational televised murder trial causing chaos in Old Town Alexandria with the threat of violent protests. Chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta is the reluctant star witness in a sensational murder trial when she receives shocking news. The judge’s sister has been found dead. At first glance, it appears to be a home invasion, but then why was nothing stolen, and why is the garden strewn with dead plants and insects? Although there is no apparent cause of death, Scarpetta recognizes telltale signs of the unthinkable, and she knows the worst is yet to come. The forensic pathologist finds herself pitted against a powerful force that returns her to the past, and her time to catch the killer is running out . . .

Book of the Dead

release date: Sep 02, 2008
Book of the Dead
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is starting over with a unique private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina. But in this thrilling #1 New York Times bestseller, her fresh start ushers in a string of murders more baffling—and terrifying—than any that have come before... The Book of the Dead is the morgue log, the ledger in which all cases are entered by hand. For Kay Scarpetta, however, it is about to acquire a new meaning. A sixteen-year-old tennis star, fresh from a tournament win Charleston, is found nude and mutilated near Piazza Navona in Rome. The body of an abused young boy is dumped in a desolate marsh. A woman is ritualistically murdered in her multimillion-dollar beach home. Meanwhile, in New England, problems with a prominent patient at a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital begin to hint at interconnections among the deaths that are as hard to imagine as they are horrible. Scarpetta has dealt with many brutal and unusual crimes before, but never has she seen a string of death like what she's facing now. Before she is through, that book of the dead will contain many names—and the pen may be poised to write her own...

Port Mortuary

release date: Aug 30, 2011
Port Mortuary
The world's bestselling crime writer Patricia Cornwell presents the extraordinary eighteenth novel in the Kay Scarpetta series, in which Kay Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could ruin her professionally and personally. Kay Scarpetta has been training at the Dover Port Mortuary, mastering the art of 'virtual autopsy' - a groundbreaking procedure that could soon revolutionise forensic science. And it is not too long before these new skills urgently need to be put into practice. A young man drops dead, apparently from a heart condition, eerily close to Scarpetta's home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked in the cooler. When the revolutionary 3D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen, she realizes that this is a case of murder - and that she is fighting a cunning and uniquely cruel enemy. Now it is a race against time to discover who and why before more people die. But that time is running out . . .

The Scarpetta Factor

release date: Oct 20, 2009
The Scarpetta Factor
In this provocative thriller, forensic expert Kay Scarpetta is surrounded by familiar faces, yet traveling down the unfamiliar road of fame.... It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta—despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN—to offer her services pro bono to New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events, culminating in an ominous package—possibly a bomb—showing up at the front desk of the apartment building where she and her husband, Benton, live. Soon the apparent threat on Scarpetta’s life finds her embroiled in a surreal plot that includes a famous actor accused of an unthinkable sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionaire with whom her niece, Lucy, seems to have shared a secret past. Scarpetta’s CNN producer wants her to launch a TV show called The Scarpetta Factor. Given the bizarre events already in play, she fears that her growing fame will generate the illusion that she has a “special factor,” a mythical ability to solve all her cases. She wonders if she will end up like other TV personalities: her own stereotype.

Chaos

release date: Nov 15, 2016
Chaos
“When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell.” —New York Times Book Review [PLEASE BOX:] CHAOS From the Ancient Greek (χάος or kháos) A vast chasm or void. Anarchy. The science of unpredictability. On a late summer evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her investigative partner, Pete Marino, respond to a call about a dead bicyclist near the Kennedy School of Government. It appears that a young woman has been attacked with almost superhuman force. Even before Scarpetta’s headquarters has been officially notified about the case, Marino and Scarpetta’s FBI agent husband, Benton Wesley, receive suspicious calls, allegedly from someone at Interpol. But it makes no sense. Why would the elite international police agency know about the case or be interested? It soon becomes apparent that an onslaught of harassment might be the work of an anonymous cyberbully named Tailend Charlie, who has been sending cryptic communications to Scarpetta for over a week. Even Lucy, her brilliant tech-savvy niece, can’t trace who it is or how this person could have access to intimate information. When a second death shocks Scarpetta to her core, it becomes apparent she and those close to her are confronted with something far bigger and more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.

Quantum

release date: Oct 01, 2019
Quantum
On the eve of a top secret space mission, Captain Calli Chase detects a tripped alarm in the tunnels deep below a NASA research center. A NASA pilot, quantum physicist, and cybercrime investigator, Calli knows that a looming blizzard and government shutdown could provide the perfect cover for a sabotage, with deadly consequences. As it turns out, the danger is worse than she thought. A spatter of dried blood, a missing security badge, a suspicious suicide -- a series of disturbing clues point to Calli's twin sister, Carme, who's been MIA for days. Desperate to halt the countdown to disaster and to clear her sister's name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cybersecurity knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin's erratic conduct. As time is running out, she realises that failure means catastrophe -- not just for the space program but for the safety of the whole nation.

At Risk

release date: Apr 03, 2007
At Risk
Sparks fly and twists abound in this electrifying thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling crime author Patricia Cornwell. Massachusetts state investigator Win Garano is called home from Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is completing a course at the National Forensic Academy. His boss, the district attorney, attractive but hard-charging, is planning to run for governor, and as a showcase she's planning to use a new crime initiative called At Risk—its motto: “Any crime, any time.” In particular, she's been looking for a way to employ cutting-edge DNA technology, and she thinks she’s found the perfect subject in an unsolved twenty-year-old murder in Tennessee. If her office solves the case, it ought to make them all look pretty good, right? Win isn't so sure—not sure about anything to do with this woman, really—but before he can open his mouth, a shocking piece of violence intervenes, an act that shakes up both their lives and the lives of everyone around them. It's not a random event. Is it personal? Is it professional? Whatever it is, the implications are very, very bad indeed...and they're about to get much worse.

The Scarpetta Collection Volume I

release date: Sep 29, 2009
The Scarpetta Collection Volume I
From the author who virtually invented the forensic thriller comes this much-anticipated omnibus volume that features her first two novels, "Postmortem" and "Body of Evidence," that introduced Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta to the book-reading world.

From Potter's Field

release date: Aug 02, 1995
From Potter's Field
#1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns to the chilling world of gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in this classic forensic thriller. An unidentified nude female sits propped against a fountain in Central Park. There are no signs of struggle. When Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her colleagues Benton Wesley and Pete Marino arrive on the scene, they instantly recognize the signature of serial killer Temple Brooks Gault. Scarpetta, on assignment with the FBI, visits the New York City morgue on Christmas morning, where she must use her forensic expertise to give a name to the nameless—a difficult task. But as she sorts through conflicting forensic clues, Gault claims his next victim. He has infiltrated the FBI’s top secret artificial-intelligence system developed by Scarpetta’s niece, and sends taunting messages as his butchery continues, moving terrifyingly closer to Scarpetta herself.

A Scarpetta Omnibus

release date: Jan 01, 1998
A Scarpetta Omnibus
This omnibus collects the first three Scarpetta titles - Postmortem, (which won five international awards for the best first crime novel of 1990), Body of Evidence and All That Remains.

Patricia Cornwell 2017

release date: Oct 19, 2017
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